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The Sinister Urge (1960)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | 8 December 1960 (USA)
A flunky for a porno movie ring starts murdering the smut films' lead actresses.

Director:

Edward D. Wood Jr. (as E.D. Wood)

Writer:

Edward D. Wood Jr. (as E.D. Wood)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Kenne Duncan ... Lt. Matt Carson
Duke Moore Duke Moore ... Sgt. Randy Stone (as James 'Duke' Moore)
Jean Fontaine Jean Fontaine ... Gloria Henderson
Carl Anthony Carl Anthony ... Johnny Ryde
Dino Fantini Dino Fantini ... Dirk Williams
Jeanne Willardson Jeanne Willardson ... Mary Smith
Harvey B. Dunn Harvey B. Dunn ... Mr. Romaine
Reed Howes ... Police Inspector
Fred Mason Fred Mason ... Officer Kline
Vic McGee Vic McGee ... Syndicate man
Harry Keaton Harry Keaton ... Jaffe (as Harry Keatan)
Conrad Brooks ... Connie
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Storyline

Someone is killing young women in the park. Police suspect it's related to the smut picture racket, and begin leaning on Gloria Henderson, a smut front woman for the "mob." Her right arm man continues to procure young women with stars in their eyes to submit to their heinous celluloid activities, and if the women try blackmail, they call in a specialist to take care of the problem. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Startling...Terrifying Realism See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 December 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hellborn See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,152 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Headliner Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Conrad Brooks did the stunt-work for when Dirk jumped out of the moving car and rolled down the hill. See more »

Goofs

In several shots in Lt. Carson's office, a microphone is clearly visible at the top of the frame as it moves back and forth to cover the actor's dialog. See more »

Quotes

[Mary sees Ed Wood posters on pornographer Johnny Ride's office wall.]
Mary Smith: Are gangster and horror films all you produce?
Johnny Ryde: Those are made by friends of mine. I think you'll find my type of picture entirely different.
See more »

Connections

References Bride of the Monster (1955) See more »

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User Reviews

 
not made to be a bad movie, it just is, though not really 'classic' bad
31 July 2006 | by MisterWhiplashSee all my reviews

Edward D. Wood Jr (or E.D. Wood credited for the film) is practically revered today as a filmmaker forgotten and neglected in his time as just another Shlock-Meister of B-movie (or Z-movie) cinema. His legacy is now, well, being the ultimate in bad schlock kind of movie-making, where you can almost see the sets about the tear at the seams, the actors going through their lines like they know they won't get any pay for it, and camera-work (and perhaps editing too) that becomes jarring in the worst possible ways. While the Sinister Urge, Wood's last 'real' film before diving deep into obscure porn directing (ironic considering the film's subject here), does not have a kind of classically bad way about it like Plan 9 From Outer Space. That film has since become a kind of cult classic where the actor in place of the late Bela Lugosi in the film, the various props and sets (including the 'saucers'), and horrendous narration becomes most of the ironic fun. The Sinister Urge in comparison doesn't have that impressive ambition to be something more than it can never be, as this film is nothing more than an under-cooked 'warning' film about porn movies, and the people who may kill to be apart of them.

The Sinister Urge is 71 minutes long, which doesn't overstay its welcome (though one may try and define 'welcome' with an Ed Wood picture) as a film with many static camera angles and very few moments of ingenuity. One of those- the scene where the brakes don't work with the car- is ironically successful, as it really shouldn't be at all workable as a scene, but as a little piece of suspense it could be worse. Most of the rest of the picture isn't so lucky- again, many, many actors who seem like they are not only content to not become stars, they're almost doomed to be in pictures like Wood's. Often the performances are wooden, but of course part of the real problem with watching such actors is the often silly dialog. It tries to be 'realistic', but Wood has no gripe with stopping somewhere to have a character (usually the lead cop character) to lay out a dull speech about the message of the story. On top of the story not really being too coherent, anyway, the director's method of the 'cut, print, perfect' method can be seen quite often with some laughable mistakes abound.

Now, does all of this make the Sinister Urge as astoundingly, amusingly bad as Plan 9? Not really; there's nothing too memorable about how the film is bad here, unless you're a die-hard fan of the director. He does try here and there to keep some storytelling merit, with his style being so uncomplicated and static it shows his ambition. But the lack of talent overcomes everything else, not to mention the cardboard-sided points of the film. It's also not too unworthy of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 treatment either, which has now made the film available on DVD. The commentary is spot-on usually and funny, though as with Plan 9 you may still want to make wisecracks on your own. That's Wood as the mustached guy who fights at the Cafeteria in one scene.


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